• Evangeline Njelesani

DAY 11


By Bernard G.

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends….

This is my command: Love each other.  

John 15: 13 & 17

Opening of the Newfoundland Memorial Park, Beaumont Hamel, France, 7 June 1925 / Central Press Photos, The Great War photograph collection.

While visiting Newfoundland in the summer of 2016, my wife and I happened to be there on July 1st, ‘Memorial Day’ in Newfoundland, the day Newfoundlanders remember the more than 700 casualties of the 800-man Newfoundland Regiment, on the opening day of the four-month Somme Offensive.  That battle, Beaumont-Hamel, is a dark day in Newfoundland history.  July 1st, 2016 was the 100th anniversary of that tragic assault.  Citizens across the island remember the young men, many of them no more than teenagers, who gave their lives in defense of the freedom so cherished by men and women of Newfoundland and across the free world.  Their sacrifice is commemorated in Newfoundland Memorial Park in France.  

Today, on November 11, we remember the thousands of men and women of the forces of the free world engaged in preserving freedom in the service of their countries.  This Remembrance Day marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War, 1918.

Those who made the supreme sacrifice have demonstrated their great love for their friends.   

Their sacrifice reminds followers of Jesus of the sacrifice of His life on our behalf and His exhortation to us to love one another even to the extent of laying down our life for another. Some make the ultimate sacrifice; most sacrifice in other ways.  Whichever the case, Jesus’ unselfishness is a quality believers are called to emulate.  Remembering how Jesus sacrificed His life for me inspires me to live sacrificially for others, for my family, my friends, my associates. That life style is the vital ingredient of a viable civilized society where we watch out for one another, care for the helpless, advocate on behalf of the poor.  

This November 11th, I will remember those who have sacrificed for my freedom by wearing a poppy and attending my local Remembrance Day Service mindful of Jesus’ sacrifice and that of many others that makes my freedom possible.  

Bernard and his wife Carolyn live in Stratford, Ontario where Bernard taught school and Carolyn was a stay-at-home mom. They raised four daughters and now enjoy spending time with their five grandchildren.

Editor's Note: I invited "Mr. G." to write a devotional specifically for Remembrance Day as I knew first hand that he was knowledgeable about the subject - he was my History Teacher in high school!

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